There may be no better place to get in touch with nature than a Caribbean island. Imagine waking up in a tropical rain forest, on a beach, or high up on the side of a mountain. Camping isn't your only option, however. If you'd like to plan an outdoor day trip, there are national parks and other natural areas on nearly every island.
For an overnight stay under the stars, Caribbean campgrounds are an eco-tourist’s dream come true; there are numerous designated campsites for outdoor enthusiasts, especially in the United States-owned territories. However, certain islands actually discourage campers because they are trying to protect their island’s ecosystems.
Puerto Rico offers primitive campsites in the Caribbean National Forest, El Yunque--the only rain forest that is a part of the U.S. National Forest System. On the U.S. Virgin Islands there are campsites in the Caribbean’s only U.S. National Park. National parks on other islands, such as Guadeloupe, have designated camping areas for tourists. Some privately owned land is also available for camping. Campsites may be designed for camping in tents or vehicles. Many sites meant for camping in the Caribbean have cabins, cooking areas, nearby cafeterias and shared restrooms, but rarely do they have showers. Reservation requirements, fees, amenities and regulations vary by campsite—research ahead to find out what you'll need to bring.
Nearly every Caribbean island has its own program in place to help protect and preserve its natural resources for years to come. The Dominican Republic, for instance, now has a total of 67 protected areas. Some islands also prefer to keep visitors in their more industrial regions and supporting their tourism-reliant economy. Still, eco-tourism is becoming an important part of the islands’ attractions as many become aware of the interest that visitors have in the Caribbean's natural beauty.
Remember, even if camping isn't possible on an island there is nothing to discourage visitors from exploring National Parks and other natural wonders on each island. The Caribbean has an extraordinary array of wildlife and landscapes. Puerto Rico has its legendary rain forests, Antigua and Barbuda are known for their Magnificent Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Eco-tours may include stays in hotels or rental properties, and they are sometimes available in packages, with reduced price airfare and hotel accommodations. Eco-tours may not always include camping, but they will provide eco-friendly housing in many cases.
Below, you'll find a list of properties in the Caribbean that can help you get back to nature. Click their names for more information about their locations, amenities, activites, food and more. It's the easiest way to browse the necessary details of your trip.
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